The Furman Advantage
Our advantage lies in our engaged learning, reflection, belonging and mentoring. Each is an element of The Furman Advantage, and each helps to prepare students for lives of purpose and accelerated career and community impact. Furman graduates know how to do the work, in the classroom and in the world, and they are uniquely attuned to how they will make their impact after their four-year journey. Our students are disruptors and diplomats, innovative in their thinking and compassionate in their approach to career, community and life.
It’s a formula that combines with academic excellence, inclusivity and the value that we at Furman place on civic engagement. The results? Graduates who take their next steps with a deep sense of purpose and leadership.
What are the elements of The Furman Advantage?
A personalized, four-year pathway to graduation
High-impact, engaged learning through research, internships and study away
A team of advisors and mentors to help you define your path
Centers and institutes focused on our most complex challenges
The Place For Bold Ideas
To Reflect on Our Calling
Intentional acts of self-discovery punctuate our students’ four years and lead them to reflect deeply on their strengths and interests. It’s this kind of work that makes them comfortable with who they are and how they aspire to improve the world. And it is that emphasis on reflection that powers The Furman Advantage and drives the change, growth and understanding that our students experience in their four years at Furman.
To cultivate world citizenship
Furman students’ engaged learning experiences translates powerfully into the skills they will need in graduate school of the workforce. That means they graduate ready to navigate a multicultural, ever-changing community and career landscape, where critical thinking, collaboration and the embrace of differences are valued.
Resilient and Adaptable
Comfortable outside their comfort zone, and thoughtful adapters to change. Furman students love a good challenge. But even better, they welcome a good failure. Their ability to bounce back stronger and wiser from a mistake is part of what makes them so successful in their careers and respected in their communities.
Aspirations and Results
The Furman Advantage: We know it works.
This ground-breaking, measurable approach to teaching, learning and living combines classroom instruction with real-world experiences and self-discovery, to offer every student an unparalleled, individualized education. Employers recognize its value and benefit from our approach, because they know our students go beyond a college experience to engage in a personalized, integrated four-year pathway that prepares them for lives of purpose and impact.
A Furman education now includes courses that teach every student how to take full advantage of their experience.
Pathways, a defining element of The Furman Advantage, is a two-year advising program that students start in their first year to ease their transition to college and explore their individualized pathway. The program builds a strong foundation of academic, social and coping skills to strengthen student resilience and ensure success.
Partners in Progress
Together Furman’s institutes form a collective of expertise, extending a rich spectrum of immersive learning experiences and path-defining opportunities to students. The diversity of thought and specialization within this portfolio intersects with the liberal arts and sciences mission, allowing us to make progress toward a more equitable world on an array of fronts.
In 2016, we partnered with Gallup to assess the impact of The Furman Advantage. The key finding: our approach is working. Furman alumni surpassed the national average in Gallup’s “Big Six” college experiences. The survey also found that Furman students are 3.4 times more likely to be engaged at work and 2.9 times more likely to be thriving in wellbeing. And that’s just where they start.
Read more about how we know The Furman Advantage is preparing our students to be innovators and contributors, community leaders and engaged citizens. And learn about The Duke Endowment’s $52.5 million support for The Furman Advantage.
Prospective Students or Parents
What is The Furman Advantage? And how does it position Furman graduates for engaged lives in career and community?
Connect with your Furman counterpart, Furman President Elizabeth Davis.
Prospective Employers or Recruiters
Your next intern or employee is here at Furman.
Experience The Furman Advantage
Meet a Paladin
"To be honest, I never thought about graduate school before I came to Furman. It was like, college, done. But after college, I want to achieve more, which is something Furman and Dr. Harris gave me.”
"That’s what I love so much about the English major. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, those critical-thinking skills and being able to deep dive and analyze things, no matter what it is, are so important."
"When I got the Metropolitan Fellowship, that was the key, integral thing in helping me. The (Furman Metropolitan Fellowship) guys had lots of connections to a lot of different people and a lot of great companies."
Student Pathways - Meet Asha
Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin ’22
Major: Advocacy and Justice Studies
Greenville, South Carolina
“I think of The Furman Advantage as access. If I went to a different school, I would not have had access to all the opportunities I’ve had, especially when it comes to financial support. I wouldn’t have been able to do study away, I might not have been able to do research, I might not have had summer housing. I see it as building a foundation for me to do the work I need to do,” Larson-Baldwin says.
- Through the Individualized Curriculum Program creates her own major: Advocacy and Justice Studies. Double minors in Poverty Studies and African American Studies.
- Wants leadership experience, so in her first year she joins the two-year Shucker Leadership Institute. Also joins the student NAACP, Student League for Black Culture, admissions ambassadors, MOSAIC multicultural ambassadors and orientation staff.
- Chosen as a student representative on a committee of a university task force to erect a statue of Joseph Vaughn ’68, Furman’s first Black undergraduate student.
- In her second year, becomes president of the College Democrats.
- Summer intern with Momentum Bike Clubs, co-leading an eight-week program for youth from marginalized identities.
- Becomes Momentum Bike Clubs’ assistant director of student engagement and programming.
- Goes on a MayX Study Away to Kigali, Rwanda,
to study conflict, reconciliation and transformative justice.
- As a junior and senior, serves as president of the Furman Justice Forum.
- Studies away in India learning the history and politics of that country, child development and poverty, and global health inequities. Does an internship while she’s there.
- Serves as a summer research fellow studying the impact of gentrification on small business owners in West Greenville, South Carolina.
- Her senior year, becomes president of the Student Government Association after petitioning to change the SGA constitution to allow students without SGA experience to run for office.
- Wins a Mitchell Scholarship to Northern Ireland for a master’s degree in public history.
- Applying to graduate schools.
Wants to become a sociology professor and advocate for social justice.
For a more in-depth understanding of The Furman Advantage, download the guide below!
Explore The Furman Advantage
Your first year is an opportunity to discover your skills, interests, values, identity, and goals by taking courses in a variety of different academic fields. Settle into your new environment and gain a sense of belonging while focusing on classroom learning. Build your support network by connecting with your advisor.Go to Year 2
Year two places an emphasis on inquiry and exploration. Students connect their ongoing classroom learning and conversations with advisors and mentors with the idea of an engaged learning experience. By the end, declare a major that meets your life and career goals.Go to Year 3
In the third year, use your classroom learning, reflection and support from mentors and advisors to focus your area of study. Take the initiative to seek out engaged learning opportunities such as an internship or a study away, research or community project. You will begin to apply your developing knowledge and skills to meet real-world challenges.
Go to Year 4
The fourth year is the culmination of your classroom learning, mentoring and advising, engaged learning experience. Synthesize your experiences, integrating all you have done will help you create your narrative for employers and graduate schools. Talk to your mentors. Connect with the career center and alumni. Talk to prospective employers or apply for graduate school. Take action.
In just six months of graduation, 97 percent of students are employed or in graduate school, nurturing their curiosity and living meaningful lives. You will graduate ready to achieve feats, solve problems and chase your dreams. This is The Furman Advantage.
Premier academic programs and teaching are our foundation. In small class sizes, students are taught by renowned faculty, not their assistants.
For all four years, students have access to a community of advisors and mentors who will answer and ask questions, and help guide them along their path.
Students connect work to meaningful experiences, such as research, internships, study away and community engaged learning projects.
Students are encouraged to develop habits of reflection so that they are able to make informed decisions, tell their story, and graduate confident and prepared for life beyond college.